A little MORE maintenenceJuly 31, 2007 at 7:35 am | Posted in Computers | 1 Comment
Ideally, one can automate much of the maintenance. Theres some valid debate about having Windows Update set to automatic as they occasionally abuse its function or send out trouble. (the variety of whats out there almost guarantees some of that) But you equally don’t want to leave your system insecure by not updating. It basically depends on how much time you want to give to the subject. Automate if you don’t.
Fred Langa’s site has some free stuff for automating this stuff, but it can take a little to tweak it for your needs. He’s about as focused on a clean system as you can get.
And there are of course other tools like registry cleaners. You have to tread lightly there as some programs don’t use the registry correctly so can have their functionality damaged by reg cleaners. But there are a lot of programs that also leave behind a ton of trash – they are less concerned about good uninstallers or want to leave their record behind. Heres a discussion of those:
(I am assuming WinXP here – others are similar)
Another cubby hole to check out is Control Panel, (Performance & Maintenence), System. Click the Hardware tab and click Device manager. This will show you if there are any issues with device drivers, phantom devices, and so forth.
You can also get to it by right clicking My Computer and selecting Manage. Disk Defrag is in there too. Also Disk Management, a very basic tool for organizing partitions (I’d use something better like Partition Magic or Partition Expert) and things like drive letters. I’ve always found it handy to set my CD/DVD drives to a little higher letters. This way, removable devices don’t bump their position all the time, causing programs to not find the CD. (I’ve normally used K and L, leaving M+ for Citrix drive mapping)
You’ll find Services in there too. Turning off useless services can help open up resources, but it takes a little study to explore. While there are a number of sites that make recommendations, it really depends on how the computer is used.
If you wanted to go deep geek, browse Event Viewer. That will give you a much better idea of whats happening with some problems. For example, program crashes are typically logged there (red error) and may give you clues – or take you down a rabbit hole.
I was just looking in my utilities folder of my Start menu. I could go on quite a bit on the subject. Theres a lot of very cool tools out there and most I use are freeware. Some of it even fun…